Romans 9

by Andrea Elizabeth

The great Jacob have I loved Esau have I hated chapter that the Calvinists use. Mainly because of this: “Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)”

Why could it not be of foreknowledge instead? Did not Jacob desire God’s blessing more than Esau? Did not Esau throw away his birthright for a bowl of soup? Did not Jacob have more faith? Nowhere does it say God made Jacob more zealous than Esau. It shows that God gave the inheritance/showed mercy to the one that had more faith proved by action. He was not bound by the law of the firstborn. We don’t have to totally dis Paul’s parenthetical though. God called and Jacob responded. Nowhere does it imply Jacob’s will was forced. Was Esau’s heart hardened? No, all it says is that he hungered for fleshly food more than spiritual. 

It does say Pharoah’s heart was hardened. Here’s one out to Calvinist dogma, Paul may have been speculating: “9:22 What if God”

Orthodox have a more nuanced view of inspiration and what hardened means. What if God inspired someone who does not seek him to go further in his actions than he might left to himself? It seems to me sometimes I make bigger mistakes than I intend for perhaps a different reason than I am aware of. Perhaps someone else needed to succeed instead. It’s not all about me. But my ultimate desire is for God to be glorified and his will, not my temporal one, to be done.